Vanuatu opposition confident it has numbers to topple government
Vanuatu's opposition leader says he's confident he has the numbers needed to pass a motion of no confidence in the Sato Kilman government on Thursday.
Vanuatu's opposition leader says he's confident the opposition has the numbers needed to pass a motion of no confidence in the Sato Kilman government on Thursday.
Mr Kilman took government on Thursday, ousting the previous government of Joe Natuman in its own motion of no confidence.
But less than 24 hours later, Edward Natapei submitted his own motion with parliament's speaker, which will be voted on this week.
Mr Natapei told Jamie Tahana the change in government will affect the country's recovery from Cyclone Pam, and that should be taken into account.
EDWARD NATAPEI: It is our concern that this recent change in government could delay the implementation of Pam's recovery programmes which will affect the donor partners' confidence in assisting Vanuatu.
JAMIE TAHANA: The new government though hasn't given any indication that it will change things such as the 2-year recovery plan. Have you heard anything to suggest that the government mind change the Cyclone Pam recovery?
EN: No it's a process of negotiation, and we feel that with a new government and people in place who are not familiar with it, it could just cause further delays and even some changes. That's why we feel that it could cost more to us than the change in government.
JT: The new government though in their motion accused the previous government of mismanaging the Cyclone Pam aid effort. What do you make of that and is Cyclone Pam being politicised here by both sides of Parliament?
EN: The last government, Joe Natuman's government, left the distribution of relief entirely in the hands of the Disaster Management Office, meaning that politicians were kept out of it altogether because of the fear that if politicians were involved, it could be directed mainly to their supporters and miss out whole sections of the population. That's why it was left entirely in the hands of people who were responsible, there was no interference from the government. So to blame the last government for interfering and being unfair is untrue.
JT: This motion goes before Parliament on Thursday. What is it you want from it -- a return to a Joe Natuman government? Or will you run for Prime Minister?
EN: I am not necessarily going to lead the next government, I've made it clear to my group that I will come in to lead the opposition, but when we come to the decision as to who is going to lead the next government it will be entirely in the hands of the members of parliament -- they will decide who will lead the government. That is their responsibility and I'll follow whatever they decide when the time comes.
JT: So it could be a situation that we could have an entirely different government for the third time in two weeks?
EN: Uh, yeah, that is a possibility. We would like to as much as possible put in people with experience who have been in administration before, and perhaps people who have been involved with the cyclone relief.
JT: Will you have the numbers?
EN: We believe we will have the numbers by Thursday, yes.
JT: Does this mean you've convinced some people to change side?
EN: Yeah we have made contacts and there has been a good response from a number of people who are interested in coming back to our side. A day in Vanuatu politics is a long time and it's quite possible that people can come in the morning and move back in the afternoon.
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